Lorretta Jones wants to warn South Surrey pet owners after her five-year-old golden retriever unexpectedly died Thursday from apparently eating a toxic substance.
Jones was walking Maverick through Alderwood Park in South Surrey Thursday at approximately 8 a.m., nothing seemed out of the ordinary, she told Peace Arch News the next day.
By 6 p.m., after eating a meal and playing in Jones’ fenced-yard with a 12-week old puppy, Maverick started to show signs of distress.
“It was so rapid, my dog was lethargic when I got home from work at 8:30 p.m. I had to literally drag him out of the cage to get him to stand up. He was panting really bad, and starting to foam at the mouth – drooling a lot,” she said.
Maverick was supervised in the backyard, and Jones didn’t notice the dog eat anything unusual on their morning walk.
“You know how they like to sniff around, it’s hard to say.”
Jones called Peace Arch Veterinary Hospital and was in the clinic by about 9 p.m.
“The vet said it was something that was highly toxic,” she said.
The dog was euthanized that night by approximately 11:30 p.m., she said.
Dr. Vikram Virk, the veterinarian who received the dog, told PAN there is a “high possibility” that the dog was poisoned, but he was unable to identify the toxic substance.
“The dog was in really good condition and healthy overall,” he said. “A young dog in good body condition. He was running and playing until 6 p.m.”
Virk said the clinic couldn’t find anything unusual through an X-ray or inspection.
“We were surprised that he went down so suddenly. There was no wound that we could see, there is no chronic problem that led to this,” he said, noting it was the first time in four years that an animal had died, due to suspected poisoning, in his clinic.
Virk said that when Maverick arrived at the clinic, he was looking upwards and didn’t appear to know what was going on.
“He was sort of drugged up. He was high on something, from there we thought that there was a high possibility of toxicity.”
Virk said he wanted to refer the dog to a critical care specialty clinic in Vancouver “but he never gave us that much time.”
A toxicity test can be expensive and inconclusive, Virk said, noting the animal will not be tested.
Virk said the South Surrey clinic often sees animal that become sick after ingesting marijuana, however, that was not the case with Maverick.
“They never pass away from (marijuana), they get better with the fluids and every hour they get better and better. With him, it went sharp downhill, it was another type of lethargia as well. We have seen many toxicity cases, but they’ve all gotten better.”